The Electrical Utility Industry and Environmental Regulation
Now the electric utility industry tries to pay more attention to the consequences of its activity. Namely, they are searching for modern solutions that will help to reduce a harmful influence on nature. Along with Microgaming software systems, another gaming and power companies focus on the renovation of the technologies, reconsidering, and rebuilding the business strategies. These things concern the economic aspect of the sector, which slows down the modernization.
Fortunately, there are forces which make these changes a little bit quicker. For example, in the USA there is the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that was founded in 1970. The community sees its objective in protecting the world’s ecosystem and human health from contamination. It issues the laws regulating the air, water, and land pollution.
The other foundation is called the American Public Power Association. It was created in 1940. The APPA represents the rights and the interests of the electrical utilities. It serves over 2,000 institutions that provide electricity to approximately 47 million American citizens. It is a national advocate for the power industry in the USA and works as a negotiator between the ministers and the energy providers.
Main Environmental Problems in the World Nowadays
Nowadays the electric utility industry is represented by numerous centralized power plants through the entire world. These facilities use resources such as coal, oil, natural gas and alternative ways of producing electricity (solar panels, wind and water turbines). An intensive work causes the massive toxic gas emission into the atmosphere.
As a consequence, the concentration of dust and smoke in the air is extremely high in industrial areas. The toxic fall-outs of litter pollute water and ground. Especially this problem concerns nuclear reactors. Storing atomic waste makes soil unfit for use and radioactive.
By and large, it is an extremely dangerous way of energy production. World-famous disaster in the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant in 1986 made the city and its surroundings a totally derelict land. In those years, the evacuated population of the affected cities suffered from radiation sickness and oncological diseases.
The other accident was in 2001 at the Fukushima Daiichi station in Japan. The approximate damage amounted to 47 billion dollars. Thousands of people lost their job, homes, and property.
Also, the increasing level of greenhouse gasses causes atmospheric heating and, subsequently, global warming. If not to prevent abnormal warming, the ice cap will diminish in size, and the sea level will rise.
Technological Potential of Pollution Reducing
Fortunately, governments and environmental protection organizations introduce some innovations that reduce pollutants.
A vivid example of such innovation is the Best Achievable Control Technology. It is a pollution standard submitted by the EPA. It determines a lower number of by-products emitted by a power plant if to use all the available technologies, control systems, and equipment. The standard extends to major electric utilities, including modern gas, oil or coal-fired ones within the state.
Strategies Focused on Cleaner Power Generation
Utility companies are supposed to implement innovative environmental strategies that would help to manage new ecological standards. The popular ways are de-carbonization, reengineering of existing fossil fuel power plants, and increasing their efficiency by installing the newest equipment, etc.
Decarbonization in the Electrical Utility Industry
The best solution for electric utilities in the future is to become more independent if to speak of the consuming of natural resources.
The International Energy Agency says that demand for coal will continue to lessen after 2020. Although carbon stocks are evenly deposited on all the continents, the world community, represented by international environmental organizations, will impose on decarbonization of the power sector. It’s expected that energy plants will no longer use the soil’s treasures and move towards solar, wind and hydro sources.
Modernization of Thermal Plants
Another way to reduce pollution is to re-equip existing plants with the latest technologies, more efficient power-generating units. These steps may increase the effectiveness and service life of a station. Moreover, innovative facilities allow us to get thermal energy from biomass. Thus, organic waste products are also available to use.
Changing of the Business Model
The buildout of distributed generation in the industry can deprive utilities of the revenues.
This tendency means that different manufacturers establish their own electrical power supplies. Therefore energy companies should work out diverse opportunities to generate incomes. This approach already exists. For instance, many institutions now specialize in producing smart-home devices that have many useful features, including monitoring electricity consumption.